To ask the Attorney-General what proposals he has to establish a register of certificated private bailiffs.
A register of bailiffs who hold a certificate granted by a county court judge authorising them to levy any distress for rent is maintained by the Lord Chancellor's Department at its London headquarters.The register is maintained for administrative purposes and is not open to public inspection, but each county court maintains a list of bailiffs who hold a certificate as at 1 February each year. The list is exhibited in the public area at the court office.
To ask the Attorney-General what proposals he has for consulting community charge and advice agencies about charges made by private bailiffs.
The level of fees, charges and expenses which my be recovered from a tenant by certificated bailiff is set out in appendix 1 to the Distress for Rent Rules 1988 and is reviewed from time to time by the Lord Chancellor's Department, in consultation with other Government Departments and with the Certificated Bailiffs' Association. Charges by private bailiffs for enforcing liability orders—schedule 5 of the Community Charges (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1989—are the same. There are no plans at present to extend this consultation process.
To ask the Attorney-General what proposals he has to establish a complaints procedure against private bailiffs.
Any person who wishes to complain about the conduct or fitness of a bailiff who holds a certificate granted by a county court judge under the Distress for Rent Rules 1988 may make his or her complaint in writing to the county court from which the certificate was issued.No such procedure is in place in respect of private bailiffs who do not hold a certificate granted by a judge of a county court. Such bailiffs are not authorised to levy distress for rent, but may operate in other areas such as recovery of community charge, fines or taxes.